Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Like a Good Neighbor

We lost power. Just like that click, whoosh, and darkness.(or in this case dimness) I could not believe it. We were on our way to Tennessee to buy a house, or rather getting ready to leave to go to Tennessee to buy a house. Suddenly the house was dark and quiet.

The children hollered from downstairs, "MOM, we lost power!"

No kidding, I think. I look outside, Jack is cleaning out the car to prepare for travel. I go outside and report our power loss. He is not pleased but does what we need. He gets the generator ready and the extension cord ready. Jack and I listen for the inevitable "BEEP" of battery back up sump pumps. How long will they last?, How long will we be without power?

Those of you without sump pumps may not understand the stress it brings. If that pump does not run, you have a problem. I did not realize the exact weight of this on me until we shopped for houses in Tennessee. We looked at a house we liked, but when we found out it had a sump pump in the crawl space, we RAN away. When this house was mine, I could deal with it. Now that the house "belongs" to someone else. The thought of water in the basement makes my stomach churn.

On this day, I sit, frustrated at not being able to leave. (However, I also find time to say a thankful prayer that this has happened when Jack is home, and not during a snowstorm) Jack and I continue to do our best to get ready to leave.

Jack as an engineer figures out how often the pumps are running and how long he thinks the battery back up may last. I call the power company to report our outage. I see one neighbor who is also without power. I see another who has power. I see yet another neighbor who reports what she finds out after she calls in her loss of power. I keep Jack informed from all sources.

We WAIT. We get in contact with Jack's parents who offer to come and monitor the sump pumps so we can leave on our trip.

Jack and I continue to load the car. A different neighbor walks by, I share words with him and he goes on his way. Jack asks who he was, I explain his name, where he lives up the street and how Melissa and his grandson share the same piano teacher.

Next, a neighbor drives by and stops, I speak to him. He drives on and Jack asks who he that was, I say where he lives and explain how when the power went out he was in the shower. Jack just smiles and shakes his head. "How can you be worried about moving?", he says. "You will know everyone in no time!"

I know he is right. I do seem to have my mother's knack for getting to know people. I am not as good as she, but I do ok. My sister in law said to me, "You will have friends in 6 months!" She said, "Me, it would take 6 years, you I give 6 months."

I know no matter how scary Tennessee will be, I am sure the Chatty Cathy in me will help me in the end. Those of you who do know me can say look out Sweet Briar Development here she comes!

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